The Road is so full of heartbreaking images, the father and son have nothing but each other and the few shared terms that help the son understand the dystopian nightmare in which they live. For example, the father refers to them as the good guys, as opposed to most of...
The Road is so full of heartbreaking images, the father and son have nothing but each other and the few shared terms that help the son understand the dystopian nightmare in which they live. For example, the father refers to them as the good guys, as opposed to most of the other people on the road who are bad guys. He also tries to keep his memories of the past to himself fearing that his son would not understand the stories because he has no point of reference, but he does bring him to his childhood home and tell him some details about life before the devastation changed everything.
The fire that he speaks of is in the soul. Life has been reduced to a struggle for survival. This book is so striking in its description of the father and son's journey that it chills you to think, how do they have the strength to go on, why do they go on? The father debates whether or not he should kill his son and himself, and even teaches the boy to kill himself in the event he is captured by the bad guys. The element of cannibalism in this book strips away every ounce of civilization that we know of today.
The boy is the man's legacy, he is the reason that he lives, that he struggles for survival. He imparts his legacy to the boy as he is dying because the father hopes that the spark within humanity, if it survives the current age, can light again and restore the social order, structure and meaning that life once had.
The father inspires the boy to continue to hope to keep the fire alive, for if all that is left are bad guys, then the human race is truly doomed to final extinction by its own hand which holds a knife and fork and is looking for a hot meal.
Symbolically, of course, when man discovered fire, he was a higher level thinker in prehistoric times, therefore keeping the fire burning within the soul, is the only thing that separates the species that currently occupies the earth, the thinkers vs the hunters.